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From planting to harvesting: Safety matters in farming

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2019 | Workers' Compensation

As farmers embark on the busiest time of year, it is imperative that they and their workers fully understand what hazards they face. Annually, around 700 farm workers die and another 120,000 workers suffer injuries that disable them. Companies must take time to ensure that workers are safe.

There are many tasks that have to be done from the planting through the harvesting. Each requires different safety methods that take specific circumstances into account. Establishing safety protocol and training employees properly can help to ensure that everyone makes it through the season in Belleville.

Long hours, inclement weather

The hours on the farm are long and the weather isn’t very predictable. These long hours mean that workers are likely going to suffer from fatigue and exhaustion. Not getting enough sleep and working long hours could mean that laborers aren’t as sharp and keep in their awareness as usual.

Time in the sun can lead to heat stroke and exhaustion. Short breaks out of the sun can help to prevent these conditions. Workers must also ensure that they are taking time to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. There must be restroom facilities, even if they are portable, available for workers.

Working around heavy equipment

Another major hazard that these workers face is that they are always around heavy machinery. Whether they are tilling, harvesting or doing other tasks, they must use everything in the correct manner. Staying away from moving parts and not wearing anything that can get caught helps to ensure safety. Anyone operating heavy machinery should look carefully around where they are working so they don’t run over workers in the fields.

Hauling tasks

A big part of working in the fields is that you might have haul supplies, equipment or goods. Take the time to properly secure everything so that nothing can come loose or shift in a way that can cause a crash. Double check the headlights and other components of the truck to be sure that they are in good working order to minimize the risk of a crash.

When farm workers are injured, they might need significant medical care. Some might pass away. Workers may need workers’ compensation, but third-party lawsuits might be appropriate in cases that involve defective machinery or equipment.